Ready to change your life?Start Now! Contact Us

Food to Improve Your Mood: Discover the Science-Backed Connection

July 14, 2023

Our emotions and mental well-being are intricately linked to what we consume. Our food can influence our mood, energy levels, and overall mental health. In this blog post, we will explore some scientifically proven foods that can uplift your spirits and enhance your mood.

Our food can influence our mood, energy levels, and overall mental health.

Dark Chocolate

Indulging in a small piece of dark chocolate can do wonders for your mood. It stimulates the production of endorphins, our brain’s natural feel-good chemicals. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, which helps relax muscles and reduces stress. Opt for varieties with higher cocoa content to maximize the benefits.

Fatty Fish

Including fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or trout in your diet provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are associated with a reduced risk of depression and can enhance brain function. Omega-3s promote the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that promote mental well-being. Antioxidants combat inflammation and oxidative stress, which are linked to mood disorders. These fruits also contain flavonoids, which may improve cognitive function and protect against age-related decline in brain health.


Leafy greens like spinach are a great source of folate, a B vitamin associated with mood regulation. Low folate levels have been linked to depression and a decline in cognitive function. Consuming spinach and other folate-rich foods can support the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, promoting a positive mood.

Choosing the right foods can significantly impact our mood and mental well-being. Incorporating dark chocolate, fatty fish, berries, and spinach into our diet can provide valuable nutrients and compounds that support positive emotions and brain health. By making these simple dietary changes, we can take proactive steps toward improving our overall mood and happiness.


Nehlig, A., & Daval, J. L. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 716–727.

Grosso, G., Pajak, A., Marventano, S., Castellano, S., Galvano, F., Bucolo, C., & Drago, F. (2014). Role of omega-3 fatty acids in treating depressive disorders: A comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PLoS ONE, 9(5), e96905.

Devore, E. E., Kang, J. H., Breteler, M. M., & Grodstein, F. (2012). Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids about cognitive decline. Annals of Neurology, 72(1), 135–143.

Bottiglieri, T. (2005). Homocysteine and folate metabolism in depression. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 29(7), 1103–1112.

About Duke Health & Well-Being Nutrition Counseling Services

Our individualized nutrition services are utilized to treat specific health conditions, manage weight healthfully, and attain optimal vitality through a wholesome diet. Our nutritionists understand that getting on the right path toward your health goals is a process that requires support, adjustment, and taking small steps to make lasting and positive changes. Work with a nutritionist to discover the connection between food, movement, stress, and rest, and make strategic changes to your diet to help you achieve your goals.

Duke Health & Fitness Center Nutrition Consultations

Duke Integrative Medicine Nutrition Counseling

Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center Nutrition Consultations



Cultivate a Sense of Awe: 6 Ideas to Experience Wonder

Experiencing awe has been proven to impact our emotional well-being significantly. These moments can transform our perspective and enrich our lives while providing mental and physical benefits. In this article, we will explore the key benefits of awe and provide five practical ideas to help you cultivate a sense of ...


6 Tips to Sit Less and Move More

Living a sedentary lifestyle can have a significant impact on your health. Inactivity is associated with various health risks, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is that incorporating movement into your day can help combat these issues. Here are six tips to help you sit less ...


10 Tips to Detect Nutrition Misinformation Online

Carolyn Kleffman, MS. Nutrition Intern at Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center. Christine B. Tenekjian, MPH, RDN at Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center. Protecting ourselves from nutrition misinformation online can be difficult. Testimonials and paid content creators can be very convincing and push products on consumers. Below, ...


For more information about

Duke Integrative Medicine and our various services and programs, please join our mailing list.

error: Content is protected !!